Flute Boy’s Meadow – Ballad of the Wind Fish

JordanDecember 31st, 2012 by Jordan

Good afternoon! It’s Monday, which means it is time for this week’s edition of Flute Boy’s Meadow, the weekly music feature where I dissect our favorite Zelda tunes to see what makes them special!

This week as we look forward to the beginning of a new year, I am turning the clock back and looking at an old and beloved classic among Zelda fans: “Ballad of the Wind Fish” from Link’s Awakening! This song is unbelievably catchy and pretty complex, especially for a GameBoy game. Despite the limited hardware it originally appeared on it has inspired countless covers as well as universal love from fans and almost secured a spot in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

So just what makes this song so great? Jump on in to see!

One thing I’ve always found interesting about this track is its use of the Eight Instruments of the Sirens. Despite being limited to the GameBoy’s sound capabilities one can still make out the individual sounds of the cello, horn, bell, harp, marimba, triangle, organ, and drum. They aren’t perfect and certainly don’t sound exactly like they should but they still add diversity to the track.

The track itself is a great example of a game’s primary theme. Its tune flows nicely enough to make wonderful credits music, but it is also capable of creating moving scenes in other parts of the game. Plus, unlike last week’s song, this one benefits from complexity. At any given time there are multiple layers of music playing, all of them working together to form a beautiful song.

Now, it is hard to truly grasp the full extent of this song’s beauty simply from its GameBoy origins, so I have tracked down a few modern renditions that I feel are noteworthy. One is the Symphony of the Goddess‘s breathtaking version of the song. I also feel that YouTube ocarinist DocJazz has done a magnificent cover of the tune, and it is worth noting as well that there was a remix version made for Super Smash Brothers Brawl that didn’t quite make the final cut of the game. All of these are beautiful versions of a classic song that could easily be called ahead of its time.

No matter what, it is hard to give this song too much thought based on its GameBoy version alone. It just isn’t completely realized in that medium, which is actually one of the reasons for one of my favorite things about the song: its versatility. The song can be interpreted from its 8-bit origins to a modern orchestra in many different ways. For example, the Symphony’s rendition of the song is very upbeat and soaring. On the other hand, the Smash Bros. and DocJazz versions are much quieter and have a more sweet and mournful tune to them. I feel this versatility helps define what makes the song so powerful; with its basic melody there are multiple things that can be done with it, and no matter what I still find myself humming the same tune no matter which version is stuck in my head.

Now, I feel it should be noted that there is also a song in Majora’s Mask called the Ballad of the Wind Fish. This is not the same song, though; the one in Majora’s Mask is completely different and is intended as a way for Link’s forms to play music together.

Well, I think that should do it for this week! Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments about “Ballad of the Wind Fish” in the comment section below, and keep in mind I am always open for suggestions! Hope you all had a great holiday season, and have a Happy New Year!

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  • Link_The_Ultimate_Chronomancer

    First

    • Midnafan

      -_- a sophisticated response for a sophisticated article…

      • The Hylian Monolith

        I have an acronym for sophisticated that completely changes that comment’s meaning for me…

        Synonomically the

        Opposite of

        Pompous

        High-tops that

        Intrude on

        Strange

        Techniques

        I use to

        Calligrify

        A

        Title for

        Everyone

        Dorky.

        See why I’m confused?

        • Link_The_Ultimate_Chronomancer

          Still first ^.^

          • Midnafan

            i don’t think that’s the argument anymore

          • Link_The_Ultimate_Chronomancer

            But isn’t it?
            Still First!

          • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

            Man, it’s such a great feeling to come home from a trip and find that the comments on one of my posts doubled while I was gone, and so many of them are relevant… Great stuff.

        • Midnafan

          :/ what’s funny, is that is oddly sophisticated in itself.

    • Atheistbigred

      Phail

      • Link_The_Ultimate_Chronomancer

        Except it’s not a phail because this is the exact type of response I was expecting…
        Buy you’re a phail for not being first. ^.^

  • Cmaster

    He’s right, very catchy but complex.

    • Midnafan

      I found only the GB version to be catchy, the rest was very beautiful and soothing though. :)

  • Midnafan

    That song is absolutely beautiful, especially its other versions. I can see why it didn’t make it into SSBB though. Most of its other themes are more upbeat to fit the call-to-action and fight themes. :)

    • The Hylian Monolith

      Mm. I think that they cut it because people would pay more attention to the music than the fight, and you reason of course. They even destroyed Zelda’s Lullaby to line up with it :(

      • Midnafan

        I didn’t pay much attention to the music actually. what’s weird, is that the only reason i’m familiar with several Zelda songs is because they were in that game, and it took me forever to realize the connection of where on earth i’d heard the song before if i had never played the Zelda game. :/

  • Mark Rodkin

    I prefer Marin’s singing of this over the 8-instrument version

    • The Hylian Monolith.

      Same here. I’m relying on Marin’s voice to make my remix. I really want to see what I can do with flute, ocarina, guitar, piano, and several voices. I just hope I can make something beautiful.

  • Skull Kid

    This is like my 3rd favorite song in any video game: number one being battle for the grand star. What really makes it for me is when it plays after you beat nightmare and the island disappears. It’s such a sad song when used right and I is beautiful to listen to.

  • The Hylian Monolith

    *starts spontaneously singing it*

  • Suchanut02

    If only they would make a remake for the 3DS… That would be AWESOME!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      For what it’s worth, it’s already available on the eShop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/meno.presley Meño Presley

    I grew up with this tloz title man it takes me back!
    the first title wich happens out of hyrule: 10/10

  • Midna’s Sister

    It’s pretty, yet still captures that 8-bit feeling. Odd for me, seeing as I grew up in the world of better graphics. Majora’s mask, I think, was released around the year I was born.

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  • Tjh77

    I love this song, its very beautiful. As much as I love the original my favorite version of the song is the remake by Fox Amoore. It really captures the beauty of the Legend of Zelda series.

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